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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Thomas' Take D.C.

Last Wednesday, the family and I loaded up the SUV and headed down I-95 toward our nation's capitol. When we pulled up to the Willard Hotel I knew I would enjoy my stay. This hotel was not only beautiful, as it should be at $599/night, but steps from the most powerful center of the country/world. We were there from Wednesday through Saturday so my husband could attend his firms annual minority retreat. The hotel address was 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue which was just two blocks from the most recognizable address in the country, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a.k.a. the White House.

My son making sure we have a nice view...which we didn't.

My daughter checks the firmness of the bed while my son inspects the garbage can.

How do you turn this thing on? What?! No Nick Jr.?

After check in and a quick survey of the room, we headed down the street and around the corner to the White House before sundown. Hubby and I recently stopped by outside a few months earlier while we were in town for the Congressional Black Caucus. Only this time, we had no idea that we would be given a private tour of the West Wing of the White House the following day. What a surprise that was!

The future President and Vice President of the United States of America

The Obamas were in the house because I could see the snipers on the rooftop which is clearly an indication. My husband reached out to a friend he met while studying for the Bar who now works in the White House. Within minutes, we soon found ourselves scrambling to find the kid's SS#'s which is needed for access. We truly do have a friend in the White House. I usually travel with our passports but this time I didn't. Luckily my husband retrieved them, submitted them and then the wait began for the final word on whether or not we were granted a tour.

We decided to have dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe where my son couldn't stop dancing to the music. The waitstaff at HRC was awesome. My husband was back at the room searching for the SS#'s which means I was solo with the kids for a bit. They brought crayons, picked them up when my son threw them, distracted him when he got upset, etc. You know how it goes sometimes when kids are hungry, tired, and cranky. After dinner, we snuggled into a very comfortable bed at The Willard for a good night's rest. I took a much needed hot bath in the spacious tub sprinkled with Carol's Daughter Mango Melange Body and Bath oil. I think the bath was a bit too long. When I came out, everyone, including hubby, had fallen fast asleep.

Mango Melange Body and Bath Oil - Retails for $30

For those travelling with children, The Willard is an amazing hotel but a bit questionable on the kid-friendly front. My kids loved the spacious rooms, as did I since we brought along our pack 'n play, but cable TV only included Nick, and not Nick, Jr. Those that know understand that Dora, etc. go off after a certain time and shows targeted to older children come on. Luckily we brought toys and a portable DVD player along to hold their attention. Room service came a bit late on the first day, 4 p.m., and when they did they didn't give us any fresh face towels. The valet is $35/night which is pricey but the service was top notch. One staff member even walked me to my car to help me retrieve my single stroller (the double stroller was killing me) instead of having to go through the trouble of bringing the SUV to me. There is no room for any milk in the room bar, but there are mini fridges available at a fee. We did not use one. I do want to add that the hotel is a 10-minute walk to the Mall which is home to many historic monuments as well as the various Smithsonian Museums. It's also a 15 minute drive to Turtle Park. More on that tomorrow.

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